Jun 27, 2020

CultNEWS101 Articles: 6/26/2020

ICSA Virtual Summer Conference, Naropa, India, Legal, Isha Foundation, Conspiracy Theories, Covid-19, UK

July 11, 11:05 -11:50 / "The Neurobiology of Sexual Abuse: Flashbacks, Triggers and Healing" (Doni Whitsett)

The first part of this presentation presents a neurobiological understanding of flashbacks and triggers resulting from sexual abuse. The second part of the presentation offers suggestions for dealing with triggers, learning to manage them, and perhaps using them to facilitate healing.

This two-day event will include a variety of presentations, panels, and workshops for former members of cultic groups, families and friends, professionals, and researchers.

More info: https://www.icsahome.com/events/virtual-summer-conference

Register: https://icsahome.networkforgood.com/events/21475-icsa-online-summer-conference
"Naropa University was founded in 1974 by Chogyam Trungpa, a Buddhist teacher (or Rinpoche) from Tibet. The school has been a major part of Boulder culture, famously hosting Beat poets and a variety of spiritual teachers. Trungpa also founded Shambhala, a Buddhist organization and worldwide community.
For the past two years, Shambhala — led by Trungpa's son known as Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche — has been engulfed in a major crisis. In 2018, a group called Buddhist Project Sunshine published a series of three reports on sexual violence in Shambhala. It led to the resignation of the Kalapa Council, Shambhala's governing body, to an investigation of some of the claims by the Halifax law firm, Wickwire Holm, and a series of "listening posts" for complaints set up by An Olive Branch which recommended policy changes.
Former guards and attendants known as Kusung wrote an open letter detailing financial mismanagement, verbal abuse, sexual abuse and physical assault by Mipham. Mipham stepped back for a period of two years but still retains full control of the organization. He was recently invited back to teach despite opposition.
The Wickwire Holm finding for Claimant #1 concluded that Sakyong Mipham committed "sexual misconduct" — a broad term that includes "sexual assault" as well as other types of misconduct that are sexual in nature. The conduct that the investigator validated is sexual assault, a criminal offense with no statute of limitations for reporting in Nova Scotia where it happened. Furthermore, the investigator was concerned there may have been collusion among witnesses to set a narrative and attempt to discredit her. There are credible allegations that members of the organization knew about Mipham's sexual misconduct and enabled it or covered it up.
Police investigations were opened in Colorado and Vermont. Two arrests were made in Boulder on charges of sexual abuse of minors. The investigation by the Larimer County Sheriff's Office focused on Shambhala Mountain Center closed after over a year without charges. SMC wrote, "We know this doesn't mean misconduct hasn't happened at SMC." The LCSO said in an email statement, "I can confirm there were allegations of sexual misconduct at the mountain center, but the statute of limitations prevented us from filing charges."
In July of 2018, Naropa removed Mipham from the Board of Trustees and from the role of Naropa Lineage Holder. However, he may regain the board seat. Naropa stated in a letter, "We find the accounts of these women to be credible and believable." Yet Naropa faculty who hold teaching positions in Shambhala have continued to minimize and distort incidents of sexual violence. Instead of compassion and justice for survivors, they have been silenced and shunned. That's to say nothing of the undealt with issue of racism, which is not unrelated."

Karnataka Chief Justice Abhay Sreeniwas Oka stated that the state government "should not be influenced by the fact that influential people are involved in this project".

"The Karnataka High Court once again pulled up the 'Cauvery Calling' campaign launched by Isha Foundation questioning who will be leading the campaign in Karnataka – Isha Foundation, or the Karnataka government.

"Karnataka Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka asked the counsel representing the Karnataka government to explain who was implementing the agroforestry campaign.

"The state (government) has said that after receiving a project report from Isha Foundation, it had forwarded it to the state forest department following which the project was allowed. The state government has to explain if it is driving the project and how it has allowed Isha Foundation to claim it is their project," Abhay Shreeniwas Oka stated.

He further stated that the state government "should not be influenced by the fact that influential people are involved in this project". He also asked whether the state government will place on record that Isha Foundation will not collect funds in the name of 'Cauvery Calling' or whether the state government will issue a notification stating the same.

The High Court judge was referring to an affidavit filed by the Karnataka government stating that a detailed project report for 'Cauvery Calling' prepared by the Isha Foundation was sent to the Karnataka Forest Department in April 2019. The state government promised that funds will be allocated in the budget and that the project will be implemented as part of a government scheme of the forest department – Krishi Aranya Protsaha Yojane (KAPY)..."

BBC: Coronavirus: Social media 'spreading virus conspiracy theories'
"Unregulated social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube may present a health risk to the UK because they are spreading conspiracy theories about coronavirus.That's the conclusion of a peer-reviewed study published in the journal Psychological Medicine, which finds people who get their news from social media sources are more likely to break lockdown rules.
The research team from Kings College London suggests social media news sites may need to do more to regulate misleading content."One wonders how long this state of affairs can be allowed to persist while social media platforms continue to provide a worldwide distribution mechanism for medical misinformation," the report concludes.

The study analysed surveys conducted across Britain in April and May this year.Facebook said it had removed "hundreds of thousands" of coronavirus posts that could have led to harm, while putting warning labels on "90 million pieces of misinformation" globally in March and April.
People were asked if they believed a number of conspiracy theories relating to Covid-19: that the virus was made in a laboratory, that death and infection figures were being manipulated by the authorities, that symptoms were linked to 5G radiation or that there was no hard evidence the virus even exists.None of these theories has any basis in verifiable fact.
Those who believed such conspiracies were significantly more likely to get their news from unregulated social media. For example, 56% of people who believe that there's no hard evidence coronavirus exists get a lot of their information from Facebook, compared with 20% of those who reject the conspiracy theory."

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